Tips for Using a Defibrillator (AED)

27/06/17

An Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is a device that gives the heart an electric shock when someone’s heartbeat becomes irregular or the heart has stopped (Sudden Cardiac Arrest).

AEDs can be used on children over 1 and adults.

Ambulances will carry one, but if an AED is used in the minutes before their arrival, it can increase the chances of survival from 6% to over 74%. So, if a bystander can quickly find the nearest defibrillator, the more chance the victim has of living.

Where Is the Nearest Defibrillator?

Defibrillators can be found in many public places, including shopping centres, leisure facilities, airports, train stations and town halls. AEDs will normally be marked with a green and white symbol and stored in a brightly coloured cabinet.
Something like this:
   
If you don’t know where your nearest AED is, you can check this map prior to an emergency. In a real emergency, you should call 999 and carry out Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) until the ambulance arrives.

Remind yourself how to use a defibrillator with our self-adhesive wall sign here

                                              
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Watch our video – How Does the CPR Adviser Work on the Samaritan 500P? HERE

How Do I Use a Defibrillator?

You can use most AEDs with no prior, formal training. The device will analyse a person’s heart rhythm and then provide visual and/or voice prompts to guide the user through each step:

  • Firstly, assess the situation and surroundings for any potential dangers 

  • Next, check to see if the person is responding 

  • Make sure you or someone else has called for an ambulance 

  • Check to see if the person’s airway is clear and if they’re breathing 

  • Start CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) 30 chest compressions at 4-5cm in depth then 2 breaths 

  • Turn the AED on. Follow the visual and verbal prompts until the ambulance arrives 

  • Remove the pads from the sealed pack. Cut through any clothing and wipe away any moisture from the chest (shave if needed) 

  • Attach the pads to their chest - Place the first pad on their upper right side, just below their collarbone. (Should be shown on the pad) 

  • Now place the second pad on their left side, just below the armpit. Making sure the pad is lengthways. (Should be shown on the pad) 

  • Once applied, the device will analyse the person’s heart rhythm. Be sure not to touch the person. Continue following the prompts until help arrives.

Adult Pad Positions:

Place one pad above the right nipple, and the other on the left side of the chest below the left nipple area.

Child Pad Positions:

Children over 1 year: Place 1 pad in the centre of their chest and 1 pad in the centre of their back.

Baby Pad Positions:

YOU SHOULD NOT USE A DEFIBRILLATOR ON ANY CHILD UNDER THE AGE OF 1.

Tips for Using a Defibrillator (AED)

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